ByÂ Prince Osuagwu
The world stood still for Nigeria some few months back when two kidsÂ Davidson Osaremen , aged 12 and Oluwaseun Alade, aged 13, entered for the Microsoftâ€™s highly rated international Certificate Professionals exams and came out with flying colours.
The kids, products of Lagos based Doregos Private Academy became about the youngest Microsoft Certified Professionals, MCPs, in the world. Microsoft Certified Professional is an internationally recognized certification programme provided by Microsoft Corporation. The certification is tailored towards building skills on Microsoft Business Solutions, focusing on Client-End operating systems such as Windows XP, Vista among other solutions.
However, as the kids were unveiled to receive their certificates, they shocked the world the more.
â€œWe are more in this country, just that most of us have not had the privilege of exposure to what ICT can do to change oneâ€™s life. Even in our school, we can still find people who are even more intelligent than we are but it depends on the priority one is exposed toâ€ said Osaremen as Microsoft handed him his certificate.
His counterpart, miss Alade who revealed that her father was an architect also poured out her emotions. â€œ I have always watched how the white men solved problems just with the click of the button and each time I see my dad struggling with his tools to get some work done, I have always had the feeling that I can do better; and to do that, I realised that I have to start on time to get deep in ICT. It is the quest to make a difference that drove me into learning ICT skills at this tender age because I know it is the easiest wayâ€
Perhaps the kids were saying that the exposure which partnership between Software Company, Microsoft, IT/Business Training Company, New Horizons Systems Solutions Limited and their school, Doregos, had brought to them, may have not been introduced to others, otherwise the two of them would not be standing on the rostrum alone on that day.
Those innocent comments from the kids, challenged both Microsoft and New Horizons who immediately promised that the gesture would be extended to many other schools that would be interested.
Today, the result of that promise is the announcement weekend, that a tripartite partnership between Microsoft, New Horizons and another Lagos based educational institution, Queensland Academy, had produced four more young Microsoft Certified Professionals.
The four young Nigerians are Miss Orakwe Chiamaka, a 15 year old Senior Secondary class 1 student of the institution, Miss Dimobi Somtochukwu, 12 year old, in Junior Secondary class 2, Miss Okudoh-Brown Victoria, also a 12 year-old Junior Secondary class 2 student, and Mr. Ubah Tochukwu, a 16 year old,Â Senior Secondary class 2 student of the same institution.
The kids are the newest addition of Microsoft Certified Professionals (MCPs) in the area of Client-End Operating system in the Microsoft business solution tool.
They were said to have passed the requisite examinations conducted on-line in flying colours, with Tochukwu scoring a 100% in the exams.Â With the skill acquired from this certification, these young Nigerians stand the chance of securing high paying holiday jobs as System Administrators, Help desk Support Analyst or a System Engineer, among others. This is even as the qualification places them on a higher pedestal when compared with students, their age or class.
An excited Proprietress of the school, Mrs. Adenike Okudoh said that â€œ the Queensland and New Horizonsâ€™ relationship dates back to about four academic sessions and like every other of its kind, has yielded dividends even as we expect moreâ€.
She said that besides the present development, â€œour institution provides world class education to our pupils, but the partnership has built a solid foundation that is today a reflection of the great vision of the founder of the school.
For the children it was the beginning of their career and they promised to explore other areas of ICT certification so as to match their counterparts in the developed world. Meanwhile, Managing Director of New Horizons, Mr Tim Akano, the initiator and brain behind the partnership, said that the effort was to address the need to prepare the youths of this country early in life for the challenges in the global labour market and business environment.
He said his company has been in the vanguard of integrating Information Technology Training curricula into Nigerian schools of learning, from primary to tertiary levels as a way of sustaining the towering image Nigeria has built in the area of Information Technology development.
Akano, told Hi-Tech, that â€œ a lot of efforts and ingenuity actually went into preparing these kids for the examination. Although there have been attempts by various IT training firms in the country to close the technology gap, only dedicated and sincere efforts from all stakeholders can bring about the IT revolution desirous for Economic developmentâ€.
He urged the Government, to make computer training compulsory in all schools from primary level up to the university while ensuring that only genuine training software and tested training techniques are patronized, as against quacks.
He said the achievement was another pointer and a positive result from the partnership of Microsoft and New Horizonsâ€™ towards the development of local innovation by empowering Nigeriaâ€™s youth.